Searching for a car is a journey every car enthusiast takes at least once in their life. It is filled with highs and lows, hopes and dreams, excitement and let downs. For me, I ended up with my dream: a 1985 Mazda Rx-7. But I didn’t start my search with looking at old rotaries, I actually started with a little boxy Subaru.
The 2003 Subaru Forester has a 2.5L flat four engine and a five speed manual transmission. The engine, known as a Boxer engine, is unlike most other engines. It still has pistons, but instead of all four pumping up and down in a line, two go left and two go right. It gives the car a lower center of gravity and offers more engine bay space. It also is normally paired with a stranger engine sound, commonly associated with Subarus. This is because of the exhaust having un-equal length headers. The engine doesn’t like to get too rowdy. Put your foot in it and you feel the torque, but not for long. The transmission is magnificent. It feels great in all aspects, even in a sixteen-year-old car. To round out the drivetrain, the Forester is all wheel drive and has one of the best all-wheel drive systems at that.
The interior is bland. Very few features and a nearly un-usable back seat. I have always complained about mid-2000s Subaru back seats because they offer nearly no leg room. My issue is, it’s not like the car is a small car. Subaru should have moved the rear seats back at least three inches. There must be an underlying chassis issue because I cannot wrap my head around why there isn’t more room.
I love the Subaru Forester, and this generation of the Forester to be specific. I love the looks; it just looks ready to do anything you throw at it. It’s a fun durable little road trip machine. Parts of me wish I had bought one a couple years ago, when lower mile examples were more common. But alas, hindsight is 20/20.
Watch my video review: